The Seven Coolest Places to go in New York City

I was 18 years young when I first went to New York City.

I will never forget the first time I exited the Subway on 42nd Times Square and stared into the lit-up nighttime sky for a couple of minutes until my neck hurt.

I vowed to myself that I would come back… so I did.

In 2011 I landed an internship with one of the big auditing companies. I was happy. I did not like the work much, but I could fulfil my teenage dream of living in the Big Apple. I went back home to Germany after my three months ended… and started to forge new plans for my second coming, if you will.

In 2013 I went back for a full-time job (which I quit after three months). I still like New York. The city will always have a special place in my heart. Here are the seven coolest places I recommend to anyone between the ages of 20 and 35.

You won’t find Midtown-Manhattan here… I don’t think this is a great place to go.

Photo by Jean-Philippe Delberghe

Harlem

Yes, Harlem.

The neighbourhood that used to be famous for burning trash cans and bred some of the best rappers of all time is now among the top places to visit.

Here is why:

When I lived in Harlem in 2013, there were numerous restaurants and bars popping up on every corner. One of them is literally called “Corner Social”. A great place to meet new people. A great place to have a beer with friends.

Also, I found the best tacos outside of Mexico there.

Then, there is the Red Rooster. This one-of-a-kind restaurant even attracted president Obama and offers incredible Jazz sessions on a Monday evening. A must-visit. Also, there is the Apollo theater, without a doubt a legendary spot for live music in the middle of Harlem’s busy 125th street.

More and more young students and artists move into the area, and you know what that means… the area turns into a hip spot. On top of that, the City College New York offers some Harry Potter-ish architecture and some hidden coffee places.

The Ten Most Popular Hotels in New York

Hotel Stars Discount Price per night, from Choose dates

citizenM New York Times Square

★★★★

-31%

445309

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Hampton Inn Times Square Central

★★★

-16%

438369

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New York Marriott Marquis

★★★★

-9%

556506

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Sofitel New York

★★★★

-17%

496413

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Archer Hotel New York

★★★★

-14%

487420

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Crowne Plaza Times Square

★★★★

-24%

391299

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Hyatt Centric Times Square New York

★★★★

-8%

341315

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Novotel New York Times Square

★★★★

-9%

427389

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The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York

★★★★★

-13%

851742

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Martinique New York on Broadway, Curio Collection by Hilton

★★★★

-8%

411380

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Williamsburg

Williamsburg in summertime is just beautiful.

On some weekends, the main road gets closed to traffic and the street turns into a picnic-scene. local artists offer their goods. Musicians perform live. Families sit on their front porches and watch the brisk activities.

Williamsburg is the center of hip… that is no secret anymore.

Pop-up ice cream places, hidden thrift shops, amazing coffee places, underground secret location rave parties, food trucks, food festivals, you name it. Artists live in communities. Bars stay up late and rarely have a sign outside. I guess that is hip, too.

Also, you get the best view on Manhattan by going to the riverside parks.

Bushwick

I guess Bushwick may turn into the next Williamsburg soon (or maybe it already did).

What used to be a dangerous suburb is now attracting the next generations of artists, musicians and students who can’t afford the steep prizes of Williamsburg.

I almost moved into an apartment there. The whole building was ran by artists and had a lot of cool perks… like a free gym, free library, a dog park on the roof top, which, by the way, offered probably the best view on Manhattan I ever had.

Young chefs start out small restaurants and you can grab a relatively inexpensive bite of food on almost every corner. Small businesses open up everywhere. Yoga studios are easily found on every street.

I guess this is a nice place to live in New York.

Roosevelt Island

This island between Manhattan and Queens rarely rings a bell.

Some New Yorkers don’t even know it exists.

There is just one Subway stop on the island. Granted, there is not much going on… BUT, living is very affordable and the Roosevelt Island Tram (where Spiderman has been shot) takes you right into the heart of Manhattan in just 8 minutes, while offering a great view on the city.

So this island is close to the action without really being a part of it. The river silences the noise from Downtown Manhattan and you can sit peacefully by the water and relax in the evening sun, while watching the Empire State Building on the other side.

East Village

I am afraid I won’t be able to do the village enough justice here.

If you want to get lost for the night (and have some money to spend), this is the place to go. Basically, there is no street without a great bar or club. Food places are everywhere.

The vibe is more laid-back and still has some typical New York flavor to it. The buildings look more like old English industrial houses with mostly two or three stories, red bricks and outside fire ladders.

The legendary Katz’s Delicatessen is to be found right there…

Soho New York
Soho New York

SoHo

Well, you can’t really avoid going to SoHo at least once.

Be it for the many small designer boutiques, the art galleries or the architecture, SoHo is worth a visit. Also, if you are into musicals and theaters but want to avoid going to Broadway (which I can completely understand), SoHo offers some off-Broadway shows and small independent movie theaters.

If you care for wining and dining in style, there is no way to avoid SoHo. Some of the best and highest prized restaurants of the city can be found there. Apart from all of that, just walking around the colorful streets is a fun activity in itself.

The Highline New York
The Highline New York

Chelsea

Chelsea is the new art Mecca of New York.

The area used to be sketchy and very industrial. Some of the district’s best eateries and shops are to be found in former industrial buildings.

Many of the galleries that used to be in SoHo moved o Chelsea. Also, Chelsea is the center of the New York gay community. Even if you aren’t queer, you can find some good parties going on and are welcomed with open arms.

If you enjoy walking, you can hike along a disused metro track, now covered in green, overlooking the district.

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Marvin Schulz

Marvin Schulz (7)

Marvin, born in 1986, is author of a German Amazon bestseller and full-time vagabond. He lives abroad for over 1,000 days and shares his experience and fascination for traveling with reallytravel.com readers. He publishes his more soulful and personal writings on his website, www.marvinschulz.com.

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